Saturday, January 21, 2012

Evolution Professors: Science Must be Naturalistic and Testable (Can You Find the Fallacy?)

As we saw here, here and here Randy Moore and Sehoya Cotner, in their new book Arguing for Evolution: An Encyclopedia for Understanding Science, list altruism as an evidence for evolution, make the typical religious arguments that prove evolution, say that evolution predicts “There will be anatomical similarities among related organisms,” and begin the book with a bogus prediction claim.

But this is only the beginning. In their next move Moore and Cotner attempt to precondition the reader by mandating naturalism. In a section entitled “Definitions of Science and Scientific Theory,” Moore and Cotner inform the reader that:

Nonnatural, or supernatural explanations, are neither scientific nor evidentiary (i.e., they cannot be supported by scientific evidence). Scientific hypotheses must be testable and falsifiable. Making conclusions that cannot be tested through experimentation and observation is not scientifically valid.

So if the ground rules are that science must be strictly naturalistic—if science must not stray from the naturalism paradigm—then science cannot test naturalism. Naturalism, insofar as science would be concerned, cannot be falsified. Therefore, according to the evolutionist’s logic, the naturalism ground rule is not scientifically valid.

Next Moore and Cotner explain that the theory of evolution has been, in the words of Stephen Jay Gould “confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.”

Perverse?

In fact the naturalistic origin of all of biology (and everything else for that matter) is not even testable. Of course it has been confirmed, for there is no other choice. We don’t know how the entire biosphere could have arisen spontaneously, and evolutionary predictions have fallen one after the other, but one way or another, evolution must be the answer. It would be perverse to think otherwise. That’s just the Stuff of Good Solid Scientific Research.

Religion drives science and it matters.

27 comments:

  1. So if the ground rules are that science must be strictly naturalistic—if science must not stray from the naturalism paradigm

    All of which is true...

    then science cannot test naturalism.

    True. But so what? Naturalism is assumed. Yes it could indeed be wrong. But we simply must assume it in order to perform science.

    I can only conclude that you don't read these comments because I have explained this point to you SOOO many times now.

    We don’t know how the entire biosphere could have arisen spontaneously, and evolutionary predictions have fallen one after the other, but one way or another, evolution must be the answer. It would be perverse to think otherwise.

    We don't know how gravity acts at the centre of a black hole, or on the sub-atomic level, but it would be perverse to think the flight path of a dropped object had nothing to do with gravity.

    ReplyDelete
  2. OT: Can Life Be Merely an Accident? (Dr. Robert Piccioni) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Htfl2rXFezo

    Of related note:

    Why should the human mind be able to comprehend reality so deeply?
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qGvbg_212biTtvMschSGZ_9kYSqhooRN4OUW_Pw-w0E/edit?hl=en_US

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yg1kJJ-5Bg4

      Delete
    2. Troy,

      So what's your explanation for the fine tuning then? We just got really lucky? Or there are an infinite number of universes and we happen to be in the one that allows life?

      Delete
  3. They are afraid of competition, so they attempt to shut it down (like Daffy Dawkins in the UK, or online petitions for the White House to outlaw creationism, for instance). When I put out my video and began the "Question Evolution Day, February 12" campaign, boy, did atheistic evolutionists get cranky!

    The true spirit of science has a willingness to examine contrary evidence, not suppress it or ridicule it. If creationism and/or ID are false, then people should be able to examine the claims and arguments for themselves, and not have "science" (equivocation noted) protected.

    ReplyDelete
  4. LOL!

    Cornelius is now doing his best imitation of Denise O'Dreary from Uncommonly Dense!

    To cause his amazingly inept and deceitful post on "evolution causes GDP debt" to scroll away, CH is churning out new OPs as fast as he can type.

    Great job there CH! You're an inspiration to Creationists everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Piltdown Superman

    The true spirit of science has a willingness to examine contrary evidence, not suppress it or ridicule it. If creationism and/or ID are false, then people should be able to examine the claims and arguments for themselves, and not have "science" (equivocation noted) protected.


    The Intelligent Design Creationism hypothesis has been thoroughly examined by the scientific community. It was rejected for lack of positive evidence, lack of explanatory power, lack of predictive power, and the huge amount of other evidence that is directly contradictory.

    The door is always open should you guys finally come up with some real evidence for your case. Problem is, IDCers spend 100% of their efforts on worthless propaganda and 0% on actual research.

    Come back when you have some evidence that doesn't collapse under the tiniest bit of scientific scrutiny.

    ReplyDelete
  6. //So if the ground rules are that science must be strictly naturalistic—if science must not stray from the naturalism paradigm—then science cannot test naturalism. Naturalism, insofar as science would be concerned, cannot be falsified. Therefore, according to the evolutionist’s logic, the naturalism ground rule is not scientifically valid.//

    got to love the Darwin-apologists lol

    ReplyDelete
  7. Just realizing how evolutionary thinking permeates even my brain.
    "Survival of the Fittest" includes the built-in (circular) assumption that extant organisms are "the fittest" by millenniums of "survival" as opposed to the only observation actually possible which is that extant organisms are simply "fit" as is. "Survival of the fittest" conjures the whole amoeba to man scenario. Actual observations confirm that extant organisms are "fit" and their fossils reveal that their ancestors were also fit and were in the past just as fit as their progeny today. Only when one species, chimpanzees for example, are compared to a different species, man for example, are one of the species declared to be "more fit" than the other. Or worse, both species are assumed to be "more fit" than some as yet undiscovered common ancestor whose fitness we know must have been less than either of the extant species though we haven't actually found the fossil of such an ancestor. "Survival of the Fittest" carries with it the assumption that extant organisms are "fit by survival" rather than just plain "fit"--they HAD to have become "fit" over millions of years by struggle and survival; they couldn't have been fit to begin or simply maintained fitness from the past to the present. Because that would be "creationism". Beak lengths of finches ebb and lengthen over time in response to varying rainfall patterns. This makes the finch "fit" as is for it's ebbing and flowing environment, but doesn't transform a finch over time into a eagle. The eagle is also fit as is. "Survival of the fittest" is a phrase that assumes it's hypothesis. One can "imagine" it to be true. But the genuinely scientific observation divorces itself from imagination and must limit itself to what actually "is".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Red Reader...

      "Survival of the fittest" conjures the whole amoeba to man scenario. Actual observations confirm that extant organisms are "fit" and their fossils reveal that their ancestors were also fit and were in the past just as fit as their progeny today. Only when one species, chimpanzees for example, are compared to a different species, man for example, are one of the species declared to be "more fit" than the other. Or worse, both species are assumed to be "more fit" than some as yet undiscovered common ancestor whose fitness we know must have been less than either of the extant species though we haven't actually found the fossil of such an ancestor.


      You really haven't quite got the hang of this "survival of the fittest" thing, have you? (Spencer has a lot to answer for)

      It's not about successive generations of a species becoming progressively fitter so that they all wind up with bulging biceps and washboard abs. It's about having something that gives a species a little edge over the competition, at least for a time, so that they leave a few more offspring around. It's being better fitted into the environment in which you happen to find yourself than anyone else. Nor is there any guarantee that the advantage will last. The dinosaurs were a lot fitter than our ancestors by any reasonable measure but an asteroid or two took care of them 65 million years ago. So here we are, more by luck than judgement. It didn't have to be us. It could have been the cats. Might still be if we screw up.

      Beak lengths of finches ebb and lengthen over time in response to varying rainfall patterns. This makes the finch "fit" as is for it's ebbing and flowing environment, but doesn't transform a finch over time into a eagle.

      Why should it? If the finch and its handy little beak work well in its island environment it has no need to change. It's doing very nicely just where it is, thank you very much. Of course, should that environment begin to change, for example, and it was slow enough to give the birds a chance to adapt, then you might get something eagle-like given enough time. Or the finches might just go extinct. Which is probably more likely. Like I said before, there are no guarantees.

      Religion drives science out of the classrooom, and it matters.

      Delete
  8. Red Reader

    Just realizing how evolutionary thinking permeates even my brain.

    (snip the rest of the blithering)


    RR, please define 'evolutionary fitness' for us, in your own words.

    I ask because from the nonsense you posted above it's clear that whatever definition you are using has zero connection with the actual scientific term.

    ReplyDelete


  9. So if the ground rules are that science must be strictly naturalistic—if science must not stray from the naturalism paradigm—then science cannot test naturalism. Naturalism, insofar as science would be concerned, cannot be falsified. Therefore, according to the evolutionist’s logic, the naturalism ground rule is not scientifically valid.

    The technology you use on a daily basis or the medicine you almost certainly turn to if you fall ill are all products of naturalistic science. Your computer was not prayed into existence. The blueprints were not brought down from a mountain top inscribed on tablets of stone. That machine was designed based on hard-won theories, knowledge and materials, fruits of human science and endeavor not divine providence. Naturalism is tested every day and found to work pretty well. A lot of what we take for granted, including a lot of us, probably wouldn't be here if it didn't.

    Of course, if you believe some sort of supernatural science would work better then give it your best shot. Show what you mean by supernatural phenomena and how we could observe them using supernatural microscopes or telescopes. Explain how we could generate supernatural hypotheses and theories and test them in supernatural experiments that generate supernatural data.

    In fact the naturalistic origin of all of biology (and everything else for that matter) is not even testable.

    Hold on! Did anyone else hear a sort of grinding sound like that of goalposts moving? You were talking about the limitations of evolution and now you want to slip in origins. Did you think no one would notice? I know you've head this many times before but evolution and origins are not the same thing. And when you talk about origins are you referring to abiogenesis or cosmogenesis? In case you hadn't noticed, biology doesn't really have a lot to say about the Big Bang or supermassive black holes.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The number one fallacy is the proposal of a definition at all.
    1. Naturalism precludes there being any entity which can do something by rational choice since rational choice involves evaluation of a proposition at an abstract level. This abstract level does not depend on the position or velocity of fundamental particles, but on the understanding of an idea. This idea can be communicated in many, many ways, but all of them are non-physical in a sense that the physical building blocks of the physical structure which communicates the message is independent of the message itself.
    2. Thus if you believe in naturalism, science is impossible. Science only exists, if there is world beyond science that is outside of science. We can not run experiments inside of science that prove the supernatural, but the very fact that we run experiments at all, proves beyond all reasonable doubt that there is something beyond the natural

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Naturalism precludes there being any entity which can do something by rational choice since rational choice involves evaluation of a proposition at an abstract level.

      No it doesn't. A machine can make rational choices. A rational choice involves evaluating how different options affect a criterion on which the choice is based, and then choosing the option which most closely matches the criterion.

      If you disagree with my description of rational choice, then please offer your own.

      To quote John von Neumann:

      You insist that there is something that a machine can't do. If you will tell me precisely what it is that a machine cannot do, then I can always make a machine which will do just that.


      You further said:

      Thus if you believe in naturalism, science is impossible.

      That is a bizarre statement. How can the possibility of science depend on what I believe about naturalism? Science is possible regardless of what I believe.


      the very fact that we run experiments at all, proves beyond all reasonable doubt that there is something beyond the natural

      Not at all. You haven't even began to show that natural entities are incapable of running experiments.

      Delete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Cornelius,

    Ya know, for someone who has some fancy diplomas and teaches at the college level, you sure do have a hard time with your choice of words.

    "Naturalism" is easy to "test". All you have to do is find someone who accepts or believes that the matter and processes of the universe are natural.

    On the other hand, if you want to test, from a supernatural standpoint, whether the matter and processes of the universe are natural, just how would you propose that be done? Should a scientist or two and their test equipment become supernatural somehow and then test whether things are natural in the universe?

    Go ahead, explain how that could be done, and while you're at it, please explain how allegedly supernatural things can be tested, especially from a natural standpoint?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Dr. Hunter:

    Semi OT:

    The Ascendancy of the Scientific Dictatorship pt1 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEl7Dkt7K-U

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I posted the 'ascendency' movie too quickly. After referencing eugenics, which had caught my eye initially, they then take a severe left turn into deep paranoia. Here are some much better videos, that get the primary point across that I was hoping to make, with integrity ;

      From Darwin to Hitler - Richard Weikart - video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_5EwYpLD6A

      Alleged - OFFICIAL TRAILER - video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuG3oJrKrPE

      Delete
  14. I turned on a tap earlier today and water started flowing. A scientific explanation for this might be that there is a mass of water somewhere and that gravity forces that water to flow down pipes eventually ending up in my sink. A supernatural explanation might be that there is a water god that sits inside my sink and drags water molecules from the 99th-118th dimensions every time I turn on said tap. The water god is also very good at fooling our senses and is very happy to do so. At times, the water god even tricks people into thinking that there are pipes connected to the tap and that these pipes contain water. Both hypotheses explain the same observations equally well. I can't scientifically test the premise that a scientific explanation is better than a supernatural one. Therefore both explanations are equally valid.

    ReplyDelete
  15. bornagain77, you do not need to preface your links with "off-topic". By this point, that is assumed.

    ReplyDelete
  16. A delusional blowhard said:

    "they then take a severe left turn into deep paranoia"

    The blowhard is obviously referring to the story of his life.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Here we go again .
    Only science can be said to be evidence for conclusions about the universe.
    The purpose is to discover the truth.
    Only this objective can justify any claim of human intelligence at work.

    To start off by saying the bible or natural evidence for a God is dismissed at the gate is really saying that a conclusion that this is not evidence for the truth of the universe is established.

    To only accept scientific evidence is to not have the truth as the objective but only as much truth can be got ny science.

    They don't really mean this but want to only allow scientific evidence.
    No other intelligent insights count.

    WELL.
    What is scientific evidence?
    Does evolution etc have any claim to being scientific?
    What is evidence?
    I say creationism in all its tribes has more intelligent evidence behind it then evolutionism.

    Rock and roll.
    I ask evolution to show it has and uses scientific principals for its conclusions.
    I'm not asking about the merits of their evidence.

    Time that evolution was forced to demonstrate its methodology.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Robert -

    To start off by saying the bible or natural evidence for a God is dismissed at the gate is really saying that a conclusion that this is not evidence for the truth of the universe is established.

    There IS no natural evidence for God. That's exactly the problem. In fact there is no evidence at all. It is a proposition without any kind of support. It is like the proposition that magic fairies exist and control the universe to make it just this way, so basically any scientific endeavour should really boil down to asking why the fairies want it this way. See? It's a totally nonsense proposition. I mean, objectively it's not impossible that there are magic fairies, but me have no reason to think it's true.

    To only accept scientific evidence is to not have the truth as the objective but only as much truth can be got ny science.

    Okay. I'll accept that. If there IS a supernatural then science would be unable to detect it. But so what? Science WORKS. We have made massive advances in only a few hundred years. It is by far the most productive method of acquiring information and making discoveries about the world. By contrast, no-one has ever come up with a way of investigating the world which allows for the supernatural as well. Religion has been a monumental failure, advancing human knowledge not the smallest bit in thousands of years.

    Basically, if you want science to allow for the supernatural, then it would completely break down. Which would be a shame since it is the only means of acquiring information we have ever come up with.

    Unless you can suggest an alternative, of course...?

    What is scientific evidence?

    I assume you mean empirical evidence...

    Does evolution etc have any claim to being scientific?

    Evolution is completely scientific.

    I say creationism in all its tribes has more intelligent evidence behind it then evolutionism.

    No-one, not one person, has ever, ever, produced the smallest bit of evidence for ID. Not one scrap. Nothing. Zilch. Zero. Nadda. Absolutely squat all.

    This is because it is an utterly scientifically barren hypothesis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Again . Too dismiss out of the gate God/Genesis is to be saying its established these ideas are wrong.
      Accurate investigation of nature can not do this.

      God/Genesis as evidence for origins is as potentially accurate as any thing called scientific.

      Its all about evidence.
      Not methodology of discovering or investigating evidence.

      If God/Genesis was true then investigation of nature and conclusions would be greatly worthless if only science was allowed to the party.

      Further I say there is no such thing as science.
      Its just people thinking about things,.
      Methodology is not any different then carefully walking down the stairs in the dark.
      Not much more careful about conclusions.
      No such thing as science.

      Delete
    2. Robert Byers -

      Too dismiss out of the gate God/Genesis is to be saying its established these ideas are wrong.

      Not quite. Science has not shown the idea that God created the universe to be false. It is merely beyond the ability of science to test.

      God/Genesis as evidence for origins is as potentially accurate as any thing called scientific.

      It is a potential explanation, but it is not a scientific explanation.

      Its all about evidence.
      Not methodology of discovering or investigating evidence.


      Wrong. Science IS about the methodology of discovering and investigating evidence. There are scientific ways to investigate and there are non-scientific ways. To perform science, you must apply the SCIENTIFIC METHOD. Which demands methodological naturalism.

      Further I say there is no such thing as science.

      That'll come as a shock to the millions of scientists out there.

      Its just people thinking about things.

      Philosophy is people thinking about things. That doesn't qualify as science.

      Delete
  19. And isn't it interesting that the god zombies want to eliminate science even though they type their rants against science on a computer (and the internet) that wouldn't exist if it weren't for science, and they use controlled electricity that wouldn't exist if it weren't for science, and they eat processed, pasteurized food that wouldn't exist if it weren't for science, and they take medicines and get medical care that wouldn't exist of it weren't for science, and they have cars, bicycles, motorcycles, and ride in airplanes that wouldn't exist if it weren't for science, and they have or use telephones, TVs, radios, refrigerators, washers and dryers, microwave ovens, cameras, back massagers, flush toilets, paved streets, guns, air conditioners, clothing, furniture, houses, tools, clocks, faucets, pumps, garden chemicals, refined fuels, heaters, and thousands of other things that wouldn't exist if it weren't for science.

    Even their bibles and churches wouldn't exist if it weren't for science.

    How ungrateful can they get?

    ReplyDelete